Do you live in a council or housing association property? If you do, you may not be able to make major changes to your heating system. Don’t worry, there are plenty of free or low-cost things you can do that will help keep you warm and save you money on your gas.
One of the main expenses in your home is your heating, so it makes sense to look at how you can reduce this by reducing heat loss in your property.
Heating your home and water accounts for over 60% of energy use in your home.
In this article, we will demonstrate some easy ways to save money on your heating by cutting down on heat loss, only using your heating when you need it and where you need it, and thinking about your hot water usage too.
The main factor in how much energy you use is how long you spend in your home throughout the year. And of course, last winter (2020/21), we were home a lot more than usual due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, our bills were noticeably higher.
Let’s take a look at how we can reduce your usage, even when staying at home more than you usually would.
Turn the heating off completely overnight and when your property is empty. Use your central heating timer to manage your heating controls for you automatically.
And you don’t need warm, day time temperatures in your home when you’re asleep. Reducing your heating to around 18 degrees is generally a comfortable level for sleep. Maintaining a day time temperature in your home at night will increase heat loss.
Time the heating so that when you wake up, the house has been pre-warmed for you. You can stay warm on colder nights using a hot water bottle – much cheaper than an electric blanket.
Rooms and doorsBy only heating the area where you are most active and closing the doors, the heat generated in that room will remain there.
If there's a room you don't use much, turn down the radiators in there and close the door so you don't waste energy heating it. (But don't turn those radiators off completely or the room may get damp over time.)
Monitor your usage
It always makes sense to monitor how much gas you’re using, if you can. If you don’t have a built-in smart meter to do that, you may be able to borrow a smart meter from your local library or purchase one online for around £40.00.
The simple act of turning down your thermostat by 1°C can save you around £80 each year (based on the average household energy bill in the UK).
The simple act of turning down your heating by 1% can generally reduce heat loss by around 10%.
If you can, we always recommend putting on another layer before you turn the heating on. Remember that lots of thinner layers keep you warmer than one big one because the heat builds up and is captured between the layers.
If you have health concerns, are elderly or have small children in the house, don't go below 18C.
Make sure your furniture isn't right up against your radiators, as that will block the heat. Also, close the curtains when it's getting dark and tuck them in behind the radiator. This helps to keep heat in the room.
Rather than setting the temperature for your entire home, use localised heating controls. Turning the temperature down to a reasonable level (for example, 18 degrees) in the rooms you don’t use as much during the day and overnight will save money over the course of a winter.
You can fit draught excluders to outside doors, windows, and letterboxes to help keep heat inside.
Don’t leave your hot water heating on all the time. It’s much cheaper to set the timer to heat it up for a couple of hours each morning (or in the night).
You can save more money by keeping your showers to four minutes. Like a lot of the suggestions and tips in this article, it seems too small to make a difference to your heating bills. However, lots of small changes do add up over the course of months and years.
Need help or advice from experienced Gas Safe registered engineers?
We supply, service, repair and install gas boilers and central heating systems for social housing associations right across the East Coast of Scotland.
Contact us about gas safety inspections, annual servicing, repair agreements or whatever else you might need to keep your tenants safe and warm.
Call our friendly team on 0800 3899 463 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm) for a free quote, or use our easy online form to get a free quote.